Marketing Organization, Revenue Marketing, Marketing Talent Development, Marketing Leadership

Santa’s Marketing Transformation | 2020 Edition

The world is built on traditions passed on from generation to generation. This time of year is especially rich with them — Grandma’s shortbread recipe, Uncle Jim getting a little fluthered on holiday punch, and of course jolly ole’ Saint Nick. Speaking of Saint Nick, there are some troubling signs coming from the North Pole. One that only a Marketing Transformation can help.

Here’s the back story. Events out of his control are conspiring against Santa. Climate change is threatening his homeland. The declining birth rate is causing him to restate revenue and earnings. His elves are addicted to their screens, which has caused a massive drop in productivity. And, this being 2020, Santa needs to work within COVID restrictions, while physically delivering his gifts. No work from home for this essential worker.

So, Saint Nick took a good look in the mirror and decided a marketing transformation project was needed to rekindle his story to young and old.

He naturally turned to some of the best marketers on the planet for help.

Talent Optimization Badly Needed at S. Claus HQ

Demand Spring’s Julie Zadow did a lot of work with Santa and his leadership team (ahem, Mrs. Claus). The jolly fella really benefited from Julie’s executive coaching. After all, leadership styles have evolved a wee bit over the last 137 years. Julie helped Santa update the skills’ profile of the elves – expect to see Mrs. Claus’ going hard at recruiting new MIT grads this spring. She will have to pay a location premium, but fortunately for Santa, he managed to secure his Series HO of VC financing this year, led by Red Nose Venture Partners.

Delivery Failures Averted 

It wasn’t only HR challenges hampering this venerable organization. Santa’s business processes also needed some significant work. Working throughout the spring and summer, Matt Roberts audited and optimized Santa’s demand system. Matt found some big gaps. There were a lot of data issues, including significant gender errors in their CRM system. Santa’s wish list registration form was being blocked by Firefox privacy settings. And his BDR team was comped on volume, not SQL’s (Santa Qualified Leads) which was a complete mismatch with their supply chain capacity. Matt will definitely get a new Arsenal football scarf in his stocking this year.

Ann Modernizes his Story

Delivering presents to 7.8 billion people in 12 hours every year is all the training Santa needed to move from a waterfall process to agile in his marketing. Mrs. Claus agreed to be his Scrum Master. She runs a tight ship, keeping their backlog low despite their enormous total addressable market.

He used intent data to better determine which American Girl to give to whom. He worked closely with Ann Handley to recraft his story for his target personas. Ann and Santa enjoyed a few virtual egg nogs while working together and recalling stories of the many, many presents Santa delivered to Ann’s beloved late Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Abby.

Jay Baer helped Santa with his digital marketing presence (there might be a very special bottle of Tequilla under the tree for Jay this year). Michael Stelzner even launched Santa and Mrs. Claus on TikTok.

Finally, the MarTech team at Demand Spring helped him deploy Marketo (with Donner as his administrator and power user), with a heavy emphasis on behavioral scoring.

Santa’s Gifts to Modern Marketers

Lo and behold, Santa’s modern marketing makeover yielded strong results. Not a surprise really. His move to cloud-based technology was a pretty easy transition for a guy who steers eight tiny reindeer through the atmosphere.  His “why” is pure. He used his leverage to attract some pretty amazing guests to his podcast: Coal or 18 minutes with Santa? It’s a pretty easy choice.

As a result, Santa has decided to give back to the marketing community in a big way. Here are some of the marketing toys that the elves are working on to meet Santa’s December 25 ship date:

Customer Journey Mapping: Savvy Santa knows it’s the missing foundation in many Revenue Marketing plans. There is a lot of great content development and lead nurturing work being done today. How much of it, though, is missing the mark without this strategic framework?

New Technologies: On to the beepy things. Here are three of the hottest technologies that Santa will be delivering this holiday season (batteries not included):

  • Drift – Santa has specialized in bots that talk for years.
  • RingLead – Santa’s a reference account for this data quality leader. After all, his brand value would plummet if Cindy Lou Who got Clark Griswold’s presents.
  • Voicify – Alexa, more pipeline please.

Marketing and Sales Alignment: Data from Gartner identifies that, when considering a purchase, B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. Much of their evaluation process happens online. It’s the reason behind Santa’s recent joint alliance with Amazon (we are worried that Jeff Bezos’ next acquisition might in fact be S. Claus Industries). The buyer is in control today. It’s imperative that marketing and sales work together in an interdependent manner.

Stocking Stuffers

It’s not all big gifts under the tree that excites modern marketers. Here are the stocking stuffers Santa is working on for us:

Lululemon Pants: With the world working from home, athleisure wear is a must for all good little marketers.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Marketing: From brand to demand and art to science, modern marketers are driving significant, measurable pipeline contributions. May 2021 bring peace, respect, and goodwill from the CEO and Sales.

Content: Like socks, you need just the right asset for each occasion.

Conference Passes: Santa has been a much sought after advisor by Pfizer, Moderna, and all the other vaccine makers this year. Who else would they call on for how to plan rapid distribution across the planet? As a result, Saint Nick has some insider info that makes him confident that we may start to see some physical conferences in the fall of 2021. We marketers sure miss meeting up with old friends at Moscone and Vegas.

There you have it. A preview of what you may see under your tree on Christmas morning.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Mark Emond

Founder and Executive Chair

Mark Emond has a tremendous passion for developing advanced, yet pragmatic Revenue Marketing strategies that deliver early results and long-term growth for our clients.

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